When it comes to Syrah/Shiraz I'm usually not a big fan. It probably has a lot to do with the swaths of cheap Australian Shiraz that was very popular before the recession. After awhile a lot of them started to taste the same, because many of producers were trying to cash in on people's new found liking to highly extracted fruit and high alcohol wines. Many other countries and regions began to follow suit with Australia's practices and started creating similar styled wines. Many of these New World syrah's were very unbalanced, leaning toward too much fruit, filled with astringent tannins, and scorching with high alcohol levels that made them hardly drinkable with anything other than a burnt steak. If you have ever had wines from Mollydooker, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Mollydooker was the epitome of the highly successful winemakers cashing in on growing trend in the wine industry riding the back of the shiraz grape. Molly's wines usually top out around the 16.5% alcohol levels, which is usually a sin for wine purists. Though I have given decent scores to Mollydooker, because, afterall, they are a better producer of the style of wine I'm talking about, I can't thoroughly endorse their products. One will have to taste their wines and judge for themselves. But if you are a lover of shiraz, then the wine below will impress because it still is reminiscent of the big fruit Australian shiraz has, but also gives a sense of "place" with some earthy elements. This wine is particularly not my style of syrah, but it is delicious, and I find many people will like this one.
2007 Box Car Red Car Wine Company, Syrah, Santa Maria Valley
Color: Very dark purple, almost inky dark-purple.
Nose: Very upfront mixture of dark berry fruit and red fruit leaning toward stewed fruit. "Candiesque." A little earthiness and vegetal quality at the end that is typical syrah. Oakiness is
prominant with alcoholic kick with it.
Taste: Deep dark berry fruits, plum, "fruit bomb" quality except for vegetal-cooked asparagus/greens flavor that ends the wine. A hint of oakiness. Supple tannins.
Acidity: Medium to medium-high acidity. Not flat, would go well with lighter meats than a dark-red steak, possibly wild pork.
Finish: Medium. Very good at this price point.
Notes: Very Australianesque syrah fruit bombness at the front, but rounds out with silky mouthfeel and earthiness/vegetal characters that make this wine quite good. Heavy play on the
alcohol, especially at 14.5% which you can taste. Let this wine breathe for a while and retaste.
Rating: 90 (RP-90) $18.00